Contesting Transformation

Contesting Transformation : Popular Resistance in Twenty-First Century South Africa

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Contesting Transformation is a sober and critical reflection on the wave of social movement struggles which have taken place in post-Apartheid South Africa.

Moving beyond a social movement scholarship that has tended to romanticise emergent movements, this collection takes stock of the contradiction and complexity that is necessarily entangled in all forms of popular resistance. Through an exploration of labour strikes, legal organisations, community protest and local government elections, the contributors consider how different movements conceive of transformation and assess the extent to which these understandings challenge the narrative of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

An empirically grounded analysis from a coterie of leading researchers and analysts, Contesting Transformation is the definitive critical survey of the state of popular struggle in South Africa today.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 22.86mm | 385.55g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745335020
  • 9780745335025
  • 1,894,492

Table of contents

1. Introduction: Transforming Scholarship: Soberly Reflecting on the Politics of Resistance by Marcelle C. Dawson and Luke Sinwell

2. The Crisis of the Left in Contemporary South Africa by Dale T. McKinley

3. Voice, Political Mobilisation and Repression under Jacob Zuma by Jane Duncan

4. Barricades, Ballots and Experimentation: Making Sense of the 2011 Local Government Election with a Social Movement Lens by Peter Alexander

5. Insurgent Citizenship, Class Formation and the Dual Nature of a Community Protest: A Case Study of `Kungcatsha' by Malose Langa and Karl von Holdt

6. Unfolding Contradictions in the `Zuma Movement': The Alliance in the Public Sector Strikes of 2007 and 2010 by Claire Ceruti

7. Labour Strikes and Community Protests: Is there a Basis for Unity in Post-apartheid South Africa? by Trevor Ngwane

8. Agents of Change? Reflecting on the Impact of Social Movements in Post-apartheid South Africa by Fiona Anciano-White

9. Resisting Privatisation: Exploring Contradictory Consciousness and Activism in the Anti-Privatisation Forum by Carin Runciman

10. The Challenge of Ecological Transformation in Post-apartheid South Africa: The Re-emergence of an Environmental Justice Movement by Jacklyn Cock

11. `Tacticians in the Struggle for Change'? Exploring the Dynamics between Legal Organisations and Social Movements Engaged in Rights-Based Struggles in South Africa by Kate Tissington

12. How the Law Shapes and Structures Post-apartheid Social Movements: Case Study of the Khulumani Support Group by Tshepo Madlingozi

13. Managing Crisis and Desire in South Africa by Shannon Walsh

14. Transforming Contestation: Some Closing Words by Luke Sinwell and Marcelle C. Dawson


About the authors

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Review quote

'In this well-edited volume an impressive range of authors carefully analyse, sector by sector, the reality of failed liberation that has marked post-apartheid South Africa' -- John Saul, Professor Emeritus of Politics, York University (Toronto) 'This must-read collection unromantically, sympathetically, and critically analyses the contested terrain of popular resistance in post-apartheid South Africa' -- Aziz Choudry, Assistant Professor, Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, co-editor of Organize! Building From the Local for Global Justice and Learning from the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production
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About Marcelle C. Dawson

Marcelle C. Dawson is a senior researcher in Social Change at the University of Johannesburg. She serves on the board of the International Sociological Association's Research Committee. She is co-editor of Contesting Transformation: Popular Resistance in Twenty-First Century South Africa (Pluto, 2014) and Popular Politics and Resistance Movements in South Africa (2010). Her work has been published in Citizenship Studies, Journal of Higher Education in Africa and Social Movement Studies. Luke Sinwell is a Senior Researcher at the University of Johannesburg. He is co-author of The Spirit of Marikana (Pluto, 2016) and Marikana: A View from the Mountain and a Case to Answer (Jacana, 2013), co-editor of Contesting Transformation: Popular Resistance in Twenty-First-Century South Africa (Pluto, 2014). He is the General Secretary of the South African Sociological Association (SASA).
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